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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

County of Charleston Historic Courthouse

 
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2011
1. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker
Inscription.
Originally built in 1753, the building was constructed as South Carolina's first and only colonial Statehouse. From 1756 to 1788, the Statehouse was the seat of the Royal British Governor, the Colonial Assembly and the central meeting place for South Carolina politics. Struck by fire in 1788, the two-story structure was partially destroyed. The foundation and some exterior walls were preserved and used in the rebuilding effort that begun in 1790. The structure was expanded to include a third floor and additions to the east and west ends of the original Statehouse. President George Washington visited the unfinished building in may of 1791 as he searched for architectural examples he could use as a pattern for the White House. While in Charleston, Washington may have met James Hoban, who would become the architect for the original White House, built in 1792. Historians have noted that "the similarity between the Charleston Statehouse and the first design of the White House is too strong to dismiss."

In December 1792, the U.S. District Court began meeting in the newly rebuilt building, marking the beginning of its use of as a courthouse. S.C. General Assembly records indicate that the courthouse was greatly damaged during the Civil War bombardment of the city. The building sustained damage in the 1886 earthquake and during
Drawing shows Courthouse Square image. Click for full size.
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker
2. Drawing shows Courthouse Square
Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Restoration efforts returned the building to its original 1792 appearance, and the building was reopened on 2001.

Courtyard History
Evidence of a moat that surrounded Charleston from 1700 to 1718 was revealed in the western third of the courtyard. It appears that the city wall on the west side of colonial Charleston consisted of an earthen rampart with a wooden palisade at its crest.

The use of the site from 1718 to 1739, when the moat was filled, is not documented. A 1739 map shows the site as part of a large public square dedicated in part to market activities.

By 1753, the location had become the site of the S.C. Statehouse, and by 1768 the rear yard had been formally established as a walled courtyard containing a two-story dwelling, two single-story privies, a fire well/cistern, and a drinking water cistern. In the early 19th century, the circular drinking water cistern was filled and replaced by a rectangular cistern adjoining the rear wall of the building. The foundations of the dwelling and privies have been reproduced to show their locations. The location of entrances to the courtyard is unknown. Two additions to the courthouse, built in 1926 and 1941, were removed to return the courthouse to its 1792 appearance.

(Drawing at right, shows Courthouse Square)
 
Location.
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker including image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 29, 2011
3. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker including
The foundations of the dwelling and privies have been reproduced to show their locations.
32° 46.607′ N, 79° 55.882′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker can be reached from Courthouse Square near near Broad Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Charleston SC 29401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Blake Tenements (a few steps from this marker); Lucius Mendel Rivers (a few steps from this marker); Quaker Burial Ground (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named County of Charleston Historic Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Gedney Main Howe, Jr (within shouting distance of this marker); This Building (within shouting distance of this marker); City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named County of Charleston Historic Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
More about this marker. Located near 2 Courthouse Square
 
Also see . . .  Charleston County Courthouse, 82-86 Broad Street, Charleston, Charleston County, SC. The Historical American Buildings Survey record for
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 9, 2011
4. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker
(yellow arrow) showing marker
the Charleston County Courthouse. (Submitted on August 14, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 29, 2011
5. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker
Charleston's City Hall seen in background.* see nearby markers
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Meeting Street and Courtyard view image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 29, 2011
6. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Meeting Street and Courtyard view
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Broad Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 29, 2011
7. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse seen from Broad Street
County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker image. Click for more information.
By Mike Stroud, September 29, 2011
8. County of Charleston Historic Courthouse Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 332 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 9, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4. submitted on August 14, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 9, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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